Vol. 1 | Chapter Four: Beasts and Beauties (v)

The “vagabond minstrel” Giv managed to acquire a horse after escaping from the capital Ecbatana…

CONTINUE READING

Notes under the cut:

1. This scene is illustrated. ūüôā (Amano Farangis = best Farangis)

2. The crossing of paths: The original text is a little ambiguous here (literally just says “that person and Giv”) since it’s an abrupt¬†transition¬†away from Giv’s encounter with the Lusitanian messenger without any indication of timing, but it’s almost certainly referring to the ensuing encounter, so I translated it that way.

3. Farangis is specifically described as a kahina¬†(oracular priestess) in the character profiles of subsequent books¬†—¬†but the narrative¬†has not yet explicitly used that term and in fact it doesn’t show up at all in the first book.

(Another thing we’re not going to find out for quite a few books is her actual backstory, lmao Giv.)

4. Farangis’s speech style feels like a mix between Tahmineh’s (regal femininity) and the more direct formality of the various military characters like Dariun. It’s a little hard to explain¬†—¬†some of it is purely textual (“watashi”, neutral “I”, ¬†in feminine hiragana vs. masculine kanji), and as usual, I could be reading too much into things.

Giv’s speech style, on the other hand, continues to jump around. He’s very polite when he first calls out, and relatively sincere at that. But his introduction of himself is as pretentious as it seems (“waga na…”, using the most formal “I”).¬†Then, after Farangis finally opens up and introduces herself, he switches back to his default “ore” (casual¬†masculine “I”) and totally starts loosening up, which I find hilarious. (Still polite, but a more natural politeness.)

He addresses her as -dono, by the way, which I’ve been translating as Lord everywhere else, hence the Lady here; Farangis responds with a -dono in turn that I translated as Sir.

5. “summoning forth the muse”: A¬†tricky line in part because of the pretension mentioned above, but this phrase in particular is worth remarking on. What Giv specifically talks about is¬†Ť©©ŚŅÉ (annotated as “shigokoro” in text but seems to be a loan word from Chinese also¬†pronounced “shishin” [Chinese = “shi xin”]). This term¬†translates very literally as “poetic heart” but is really referring¬†to a person’s¬†creative drive/inspiration, i.e. the desire to compose verse, rather than the¬†skill to do so.

6. The jinn here are described as Á≤ĺťúä (seirei), i.e. spirits.

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